The increase in competition, change in the higher education landscape and lack of enough resources, has been forcing to review their marketing strategies so as to suitably the qualified learners (Daniela, 2012). Among the higher learning institutions that have been evaluating the marketing strategies is CQUniversity. This learning institution is an Australian dual sector university located in Queensland.
Central Queensland University which is also known as CQUniversity is an Australian based dual sector headquartered in Queensland (Harden & Heyman, 2012). The university also has various branches which are located in different areas like; emerald, MacKay City, Gladstone among others. In its operations, this university uses different marketing strategies to survive in the competitive education sector.
The goal of this university is to empower staff, community, businesses and industry to connect and come up with partnerships that can provide mutually beneficial results for the stronger region (Hess, 2012). Back in 2006, most of its clients complained about the lack of appropriate facilities for the tertiary institution. As a consequence of this complaints, the management did much to reform the institution. Currently, the university has gained a reputation in Australia and other countries.
This university operates in the education sector which is associated with endless competition between various learning institutions. The main university competitors are both public and private universities (Tybout & Calder, 2010). The university has been using different strategies including attempting to introduce a broad range of courses and expanding to different geographical locations within Australia with the aim of attaining a competitive advantage.
Although the demand for education seems to develop during this digital era, it seems only a few students make it to higher education. This means the available higher learning institutions competes for the few students who are lucky to progress with their education after post-primary education (Pauwels, 2014). As time goes on, investors, as well as the government, are realizing the demand for education is likely to increase in future and hence setting up higher learning institutions. As a result of this factor, the level of competition is becoming high because every institution wants to be termed as the best in the market.
The CQUniversity’s unique vision of diversity, engagement, outreach, research among others has been assisting this university to realize a competitive advantage (Mohammed, 2012). Through its continuous research and innovation aimed, the university has become the pioneer in the provision of distance learning and other services.
With Globalization And Digital Revolution, the need for education is growing because no one is willing to be termed as illiterate. Currently, Australians are highly educated than before. However, regardless of the increase in the levels of educational attainment, some groups in the society are still experiencing challenges in accessing higher education (Irina, 2012). With this issue, most of the learning institutions including CQUniversity have been trying the best to ensure the disadvantaged students gets access to higher education through minimizing the prices.
As the demand for higher education increases, most of the students are seeking to advance their studies in learning institutions that offer the best courses, with best teachers and best learning facilities (Vladimir, 2013). As a result of these, the CQUniversity has been doing everything to make this institution become the best in Australia.
Prospective students are currently becoming more consumers oriented and making decisions concerning the courses and where to pursue them (Yakup, 2014). They are also seeking for the access to services and education across the new technologies and the more flexible delivery options. For CQUniversity to meet these expectations, its management has been investing in expensive and facilities and infrastructure.
Unlike in the past when this university used to focus on snaring international students, its current primary target is the Australian HECS-fee-Paying students who have realized the role of education in the economy economic growth and individual well-being (Yakup, 2014). Its management has been targeting the growing Asian education market, with student accommodation being made available around the waterfront priority development areas to induce the potential students. The university also continues to enhance its international reputation as the provider of high-quality education which is accessible to everyone.
To establish proper marketing, CQUniversity has segmented its target market into different divisions (Tybout & Calder, 2010). The segments are divided based on various aspects like needs, mindsets and age bracket for the students who seek to enhance their education. These segments are important to the institution because it enables its marketers to focus on potential and specific students.
Despite facing stiff competition from similar institutions, this university seeks to become the marketing leader in the domestic tertiary education industry (Livermore, 2010). Its management aims to play a role in providing the knowledge and skills based on the future workforce. The university has been adhering to the 4ps (price, product, promotion, and place) of the marketing mix.
The university offers wide varieties of courses to enable its target customers to have a broad range of selection options. It also seeks to continue introducing new courses which seem to be needed in the current and future job market (Tybout & Calder, 2010). Through being growth oriented, this university provides different education and training offerings, which have a broad range of varieties. Some of its varieties include short courses and certificates, postgraduates, undergraduates and research bachelors.
The company seeks to expand its market share through establishing branches in the major cities and other areas of the country (Tybout & Calder, 2010). With the increase in demand for higher education, the University seeks to be more diverse, entrepreneurial and engaged in the provision of different courses in Australia.
The university has different campuses located in different areas like Emerald, Noosa, Mackay, Gladstone among others. Through the utilization of proper growth strategies, the University has become the largest university based in regional Australia with more than 35000 students.
To become widely known, CQuniversty uses various promotional tools. With the rising demand for social media, the management has realized that most of the promotional tools like the televisions and newspapers have lost audiences (Vladimir, 2013). Therefore, it has embraced the use social media to advertise intakes and various courses offered by the university. It also uses this channel to answer different questions from its target customers, fees structure, information concerning its branches and so forth. Other promotional tools used by this university include sponsorships, reward programs, and press releases.
In the past few years, there were issues that CQUniversity was treating its students as “Cash Cows” (Vladimir, 2013). The students were arguing that they were paying much for poor services and facilities were not appropriate for a tertiary education.
After restructuring the management and understanding how the issue of pricing would give its competitors a chance to gain a competitive advantage, the university lowered its prices, introduced new courses and advanced learning facilities and established new branches in various areas of Australia.
The higher education system and other sectors are by different political factors (Vladimir, 2013). Some of the political factors that impact CQUniversity include political instability which results from a change in political leaders.
Higher education is a project that requires resources and time. As time goes on, pressures which stem from the declination of income and the rising costs are increasing. This means higher education institutions like CQUniversity may have to review their pricing strategies to match the current economic difficulties that people may experience in future.
In the recent time, students consider the social impact of the money they spend (Tybout & Calder, 2010). Some may pay more to support institutions that offer best courses while others will avoid institutions that appear to be valuing the business than the quality of education they provide. This means it is the responsibility of CQUniversity management to ensure it values offering high-quality education to its students.
CQUniversity seeks to invest in technology and innovation (Vladimir, 2013). Its management has been trying to ensure it adapts to the changes in technology so as to offer the best services to its students. The issue of adapting to technological changes is not always simple because the changes require regular research and also resources including money and time.
Cquniversity competes with various universities including both public and private. Among its closed competitors is James cook university (JCU) (Tybout & Calder, 2010). According to the CQUniversity spokesman, these two institutions have been engaging in a tough competition towards the local and international students who show interest in higher education.
The competing brand in this case is a number of courses that have shown high demand in the job market. These institutions seem to have been using a similar competing strategy of expanding to the most potential markets. For example, when CQuniversity decided to open a branch in Cairns’ CBD, JCU did the same. This shows the aim of each one of them to dominate the territory of its competitor.
CQUniversity benefits because of the cost advantages it gains because of its size. The increase in volume leads to increase in benefits.
Bad acquisition can negatively impact this university by increasing their costs and minimizing the value combined businesses. Acquisitions can also distract the core business and merge different cultures that do not implement each other
The introduction of new products can assist this institution to expand its operations and diversify its customer base. Because of being widespread in Australia, the University has the potential to attract many students across the country.
Volatile revenue may lead to challenges in planning, hence resulting in the delay of critical investments in this university’s business. This university is also faced with the threat of minor tertiary institutions being introduced in the market to match the available demand for higher education. The university is also faced with the threat of tertiary institutions being marketed as the critical Australian Regional University.
With the continuous research concerning customer demand and changes in the job market, this university has been introducing courses that have the highest demand from the customers and what seems to be required in the job market.
The university makes its services to be different by ensuring highly qualified tutors teach the students. Its management also ensures there is the provision of resources that the students require to advance their learning. These include well-equipped libraries, healthy learning environment, modern technology and so forth.
Like any other organization, CQUniversity has been keen on its marketing strategies to ensure it gains a competitive advantage. Its management targets both local and international students to ensure it has a wider range of target customers. It also makes sure it has various branches with the country to expand its market share and also to make its services accessible to the people. It has also been advancing its learning facility, introducing new courses and working on its pricing strategy to ensure the students gets the value of their money.
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